EATING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

Taste From Heaven: by Brian Baxter

Super Restaurant and Cooking School in City Centre

This restaurant is the epitome of all that is good about eating out. It offers, as the quaint British saying goes, ‘the fully monty’ – accurately pressing the handful of buttons that make us get off our butts and head out in hopeful anticipation of not just a decent meal but of an enjoyable evening out.
First off it is a vegetarian restaurant with none of the occasional holier than though attitude which used to typify some such places. The menu is large and varied and certainly pleased the dedicated meat eaters I have visited it with. They also provide a good choice of alcoholic and soft drinks. More of that later.
One of the most appealing aspects is the supremely comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. This can only be ‘sensed’, rather like entering someone’s home and having that immediate sense of well being, rather than entering a show house. It is usually referred to as ambiance in restaurant terms; difficult to define but palpably real. A little over lit perhaps, but this is a question of taste. So not for romantic diners!!
It takes the form of the spacious room, with well spaced tables, attractive decoration (especially the colour photographs on the walls – some of the proceeds go to help an elephant sanctuary). There is a little ‘shop’ in one corner, a display counter, with cakes for sale, and a small internet facility. To the rear is a leafy garden where one can also eat. And on the first floor a day time cooking school, which caters for a maximum of six people.
Another plus is the service. Menus are quickly brought, but then one is left in peace. No anxious pushing of drinks or hovering at the table whilst one tries to choose from the large and exciting range of food. But once you have made your choice the food comes quite quickly. By the way rice is limited to brown or sticky and this seems to me a minor omission. The first I find too heavy and rather like whole meal pasta somewhat redundant and the latter better with sweet dishes or som tum, that great papaya salad.
And finally- and not least given these baht strong days – there is the excellent value. Taste from Heaven is in the heart of town, a short walk from Thapae Gate, and the premises are large and airy, but somehow the prices have been kept reasonable. You can even get a set lunch for 99 baht and I went there with a Thai friend for ‘brunch’ and the total cost was around 300 baht, with fruit drinks.
Assuming though – as is the case for this review – there is a quartet of hungry farangs, with a thirst enough to sink a large bottle of Singha or Chang beer each, then reckon on up to 300 baht a head for a full meal, including drinks and well deserved service. There is also a selection of wines and masses of other soft drinks, teas and so on. Prices of drinks are also not inflated.
Our mini feast comprised pumpkin soup with garlic bread for three of the party (45 baht), some delicious fresh spring rolls (50), a welcome change from the deep fried variety and best of all a Banana Flower Salad (also 45). A tasty green curry was just as interesting as the Penang Curry I had had a few days earlier. We also enjoyed Morning Glory but were sadly too full for any of the puddings listed. You will find Tastes from Heaven at 237-239 Thapae Road, next to a Wat and across from a large Krung Thai Bank. They open every day from breakfast time (8.30) until about 10.00 pm. They operate a take away or delivery service. Tel: 053 208 803.

 

Beef and bacon burgers

America gave the world hamburgers, and I am led to believe that the average American eats three burgers every week. No wonder McDonalds could expand at the rate it has done! The original recipe gives the option of grilling or broiling. Grilling is the way to go!

Ingredients   Makes four to six burgers
Lean ground beef                           700 gm
Onion, finely chopped                     cup
Bacon chopped                            2 rashers
Worcestershire sauce                     1 tbspn
Fresh soft bread crumbs     1 heaped cup
Egg                                                               1
Salt                                                     tspn
Pepper                                                tspn
Flour                                                2 tbspns
Vegetable oil                                  2 tbspns

Hamburger buns, split and toasted  6

Cooking Methodd
In a bowl, combine ground beef, onion, bacon, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly until blended. Shape into 4 to 6 burgers and coat lightly with the flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grill the burgers for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired doneness. Serve in toasted buns.